Symbolism

The People's Flag of Milwaukee is a symbol that Milwaukeeans can take pride in. It rallies us to look forward to a new day. Symbolic of Milwaukee’s past, present, and future, the flag is a graphic representation of the sun rising over Lake Michigan. Scroll down and click the different parts of the flag below to find out more.

The gold color of the top fess symbolizes Milwaukee's rich brewing history. Once known as "The Beer Capital of the World," Milwaukee is affectionately referred to as the "Brew City" to this day.
Universally, the color white represents peace and unity. To many Milwaukeeans, this color has also come to symbolize our long winters.
The centered disc represents the sun rising over the horizon of Lake Michigan, as seen while looking East from the shore of the city. The sunrise symbolizes hope and a new day.
The navy color of the bottom fess symbolizes Lake Michigan and our status as a port city. Milwaukee is home to the water tech industry, and our proximity to water was as important to our past as it is to our future.
The three stripes in the sun's reflection represent the founders of Milwaukee and its three original settlements: Kilbourn Town, Juneau Town and Walker's Point. Their light blue color symbolizes our three rivers: Milwaukee, Menomonee, and Kinnickinnic.

Inspiration

“Milwaukee” derives from a Native translation meaning "Gathering place by the water." Milwaukee’s proximity to Lake Michigan has long been our greatest asset; a place where we continue to gather today. The new flag is composed of colors retained from the previous banner—white, yellow, light blue, dark blue—adopted in 1954, and are well-documented throughout the city. The central charge from the previous banner, a gear, has evolved into the sunrise. Once a city of industry, we remain an industrious people. Our three rivers and rich brewing history are also emphasized in a meaningful way. The result is a confident symbol that changes the narrative of Milwaukee.